First, I LOVE being at home with Peanut. Being a stay at home mom is something that I always wanted to do. In fact, DH and I even talked about it on our first date. Crazy, huh? But at least we were on the same page from the start. Although I had worked at my job in the "corporate" world for nearly 11 years, I never considered it a career. Silly, I know. Even though that is what I always wanted to do, when I was pregnant, I didn't think we (my husband and I) could do it financially. Cut our income in half? Um, we still have bills to pay.
It was definitely a step of faith to choose to stay at home. Even more so to walk into my job (while still on leave) and give my boss my notice. I was shaking. It was crazy. This was last November, right in the midst of one of our country's worst financial crises. I was quitting a well paying job with benefits and four weeks of vacation. (I used to joke I technically worked less than 11 months of the year between holidays and vacation. :) But against every practical grain in my body, I still turned in my notice.
Don't get me wrong. This hasn't been the skipping through grassy fields and picking daisies with my husband kind of easy. It's been hard. Really hard. Not the staying at home part, but the financial part. But we have worked hard on making do with less. We cut Netflix, we don't have cable/satellite, we don't eat out, my husband takes his lunch to work, I haven't went shopping in ages, etc., etc. Prior to quitting my job we would spend nearly $600 a month (for two of us) between groceries and eating out alone. Now I try to keep our grocery budget under $30 a week. So really, these new choices weren't really that hard, it was just a matter of doing it.
However, despite all of our choices and things we had control over, some things happened with DH's job and we had some very hard things to consider in the last several months. Our first priority has been for me to stay home. DH was offered a position at his prior place of employment that would certainly make things easier for us financially. By easier, I still mean tight, but no longer dipping into our savings each month to make ends meet. :) (After all, we do live in a two income world.) The problem is, this job is 350 miles away from our hometown. Nevertheless, he (we) accepted the position. I never thought I would be the type to move away from all my family and friends. I still don't think I am. I don't think it will really settle in until I am having to grocery shop in some strange place I am not used to.
But here we are. Packing our belongings, looking at all DH's (with the help of my Dad at times) home improvements, hoping the renter's we find won't trash our home, looking for a new place to call home, and praying that someday soon we will be able to come back so Peanut will be able to call this her hometown as well. Moving. Not just across town, but across the state. But it will be worth it.
I think she is definitely worth it. I will still be able to be at home with The Peanut. We won't have to do the baby swap with each of us working opposite hours. My husband will be able to work just one job and be able to move up within the company. We will be able to pay the bills and still be able to breath. And I will be there each time the Peanut cries, each time she wakes from a nap, each first that she makes. And it will be worth it.